(Photo of Marilyn Monroe performing for the troops in Korea – on my fridge)
To those of you out there steeped in Marilyn Monroe lore, you will know about her two filing cabinets . If you say to a Marilyn Monroe fanatic, “I wonder about those two filing cabinets …” they will nod, knowingly, and say, “Yeah, I’ve always wondered about them, too.” No need to explain further.
The cabinets disappeared after her death (like so many other things – her journal, some letters, other personal items). I always blamed Peter Lawford who had been sent on a cleaning-up mission to her house. But others thought DiMaggio had removed it – wanting to protect her posthumously … Theories abound.
But the filing cabinets have now re-emerged – full of …. STUFF.
Frank Sinatra had advised her to put all of her stuff under lock and key, get some sort of system going – a filing system … and so she did. When I first heard that the “two filing cabinets” had been found, my heart seriously skipped a beat. I have been wondering about those cabinets since … what … college?? In a similar vein, if I suddenly heard that “The journals from Sylvia Plath’s last two years have been found” – I would seriously have to hold myself back from stabbing the person next to me out of sheer excitement. Because yeah. That’s what I do when I get excited. I stab strangers.
But there are things that have been “lost” … and I have always wondered about those filing cabinets, wondering what the hell that sleazebag Peter Lawford did with them and if they would ever turn up.
Vanity Fair has the story of those two filing cabinets from Marilyn Monroe – and more than that has an enormous archive of slideshows of the things found in those filing cabinets: letters she wrote, handbags, receipts, photos, fan mail, prescriptions … the list goes on forever. I haven’t even begun to look through all of the slideshows (there must be hundreds of slides) … but I am just lost in all of it. I’ve pulled out a couple of images that really struck me – but the investigation continues.
The filing cabinets have been found. Unbelievable.
Some images below:
(Letter from Monroe to Lee Strasberg, Elia “Gadge” Kazan and Cheryl Crawford – heads of the Actors Studio)
(A clear handbag that seriously has made me want to cry with envy. I want it.)
(This was Marilyn Monroe’s favorite photo of herself. She’s in a jeep during her trip to Korea to perform for the troops. She always kept the photo in her purse. When she changed purses, she would move the photo to the new purse. On the back she had written: “I like this one the best”. That’s the best image I could find of that photo … I actually have it in a calendar at home, made up entirely of images of Marilyn Monroe’s visit to Korea … but couldn’t find a bigger one online. However: you can see Marilyn’s writing across the back:)
(Marilyn’s hand-written recipes)
(This one just amazed me. It’s Joe Dimaggio’s shaving kit. I guess I love objects. When I went to the Hamilton exhibit at the NY Historical Society I was most taken with his desk.)
(Marilyn Monroe’s personal stationery)
Take a look at the phenomenal new archive of stuff here - and the latest issue of Vanity Fair hits the stands tomorrow in New York and across the nation later this week.